The story of a mother who gets entangled in a Facebook game so much so that she causes the inadvertent death of her child had shocking novelty value. Yes it ‘used to have’ the shock value, but not anymore, with more and more such incidents being reported.
The highly addictive Facebook games can emerge as a leading killer of children, it seems.
A 30-year-old Colorado woman appeared in court on Friday after police established that she was too immersed in Facebook that her toddler daughter wandered out of the house and got killed by a van.
The mother, Karen Pena, told the police she was reading messages on Facebook and she had asked the child to go out and play in the yard. While Pena kept herself busy with Facebook friends, her daughter went out of the yard and was hit by a van in the parking lot. She died at the hospital the next day of skull fracture.
Investigators found that Pena had kept her home in a shabby condition and that it was uninhabitable for a child, with dirty bathrooms and laundry strewn around. She was arrested on Thursday.
According to the police, Pena is the second Colorado mother to have left a child to die when they were engaged on the Facebook.
In April, northern Colorado mother Shannon Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in prison for causing the death of her child while engaged in Facebook.
Shannon, 34, was playing a game on Facebook when her 13-month-old baby drowned in the bath tub. You left this little boy in a bathtub so you could entertain yourself on the computer by playing games ... And you left that 13-month-old human being, little Joseph, incredibly for those reasons, said District Judge Thomas Quammen.
Johnson had pleaded guilty to negligently causing the death of the child. Court documents showed Johnson had put her son in the tub for his bath a little after 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20, according to masslive.com. She then left him unsupervised in a bathtub full of water as she went to another room to share videos, check status updates and play Café World on Facebook, the report said.
In a more bizarre crime, a mother in Florida admitted last year to killing her child because it distracted her from her online game on Facebook. The mother, Alexandra V. Tobia, was reportedly angered by the baby's crying which distracted her while she was playing the Facebook game of Farmville.
Driven by anger, she shook the baby to death. According to reports she shook the baby several times, and lighted a cigarette in between to compose herself.